Monday, May 18, 2015

A Simple Event: the Birth of Iranian New Wave Cinema

A Simple Event
A Simple Event: the Birth of Iranian New Wave Cinema
Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, Italy
June 27-July 4, 2015
Curated by Ehsan Khoshbakht, in collaboration with the Iranian National Film Archive


At the end of the Iranian Revolution of 1979 the country found itself, somewhat unexpectedly, marginalized. The upheaval also forced into obscurity and inaccessibility many Iranian films from the 1960s and 1970s, whose contemporary politics were condemned by the revolution.

Now, thanks to certain shifts in the cultural climate, the doors of The National Film Archive of Iran are open. We have grabbed this opportunity to review four key films made between 1965 and 1973 – a period later dubbed the Iranian New Wave. It is a happy coincidence that the oldest film of the bunch, Night of the Hunchback, was made by one of the founders of the National Film Archive, Farrokh Ghaffari.
Representing some of the key filmmakers of the New Wave – Kamran Shirdel (The Night It Rained), Darius Mehrjui (The Cow) and Sohrab Shahid Saless (A Simple Event) – this selection not only reveals some of the early signposts of an Iranian cinematic revolution, it also hints at those social and political changes that were to reshape the country a decade later.

Films:
  • Shab-e Ghuzi (Night of the Hunchback), Farrokh Ghaffari, 1965. [New print]
  • Oon shab ke baroon oomad ya hemase-ye roosta zade-ye gorgani (The Night It Rained or the Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy), Kamran Shirdel, 1967. [2K restoration]
  • Gaav (The Cow), Dariush Mehrjui, 1969. [2K restoration]
  • Yek ettefagh-e sadeh (A Simple Event), Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1973. [New print]

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